Archive for the ‘Hispanic Higher Education’ category

Mid-term election results and HACU’s legislative agenda

November 8, 2010

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) expects that the 112th Congress will continue to support its legislative agenda on behalf of Hispanic higher education success and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Support for education, especially for HSIs and Hispanic-Serving School Districts (HSSDs), has usually been bipartisan and progressive. HACU remains committed to working in that manner with all members of Congress, both Hispanic and other.

But before the 111th Congress ends in December, HACU is also hopeful that the unfinished business of passing the DREAM Act and approving much-needed funding requests for HSIs will be completed. The leadership of the current Congress has publicly reiterated their commitment to acting on the DREAM Act during the lame duck session, which begins on November 15. HACU continues to work hard with 27 other national organizations that comprise the Act on the DREAM Coalition for this to become a reality. Please urge your members of Congress to pass this legislation by selecting “take action” to send an instant message from www.actonthedream.org.

HACU is also pushing for greater funding support for HSIs as Congress turns to approve appropriations for fiscal year 2011. As it stands, HSIs receive only 52 cents for every dollar that all other colleges get annually from all federal sources per student. This gap must be closed without delay. Visit www.hacu.net for more information on HACU’s legislative agenda.

If, as expected, the 112th Congress takes up the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, or No Child Left Behind), HACU will be advocating for the inclusion and support of HSIs and HSSDs for the preparation of quality teachers and for greater collaboration between K-12 and higher education. We’ll keep you posted on developments.

The United States once led the world in college degree attainment but has now fallen to number 12. To regain its leadership and remain competitive in the global economy, Hispanics, the fastest-growing and youngest demographic in the nation, must attain much higher educational success — and the schools and colleges that have the lead role in educating them must be funded accordingly. This is what HACU expects from both the 111th and the 112th Congresses.

While we applaud intent, we should also demand action

October 20, 2010

Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order to renew the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. We commend the President for reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to Hispanic education success. We hope this Presidential decree will foster greater federal investments in the education of the youngest and fastest-growing national demographic, which unfortunately remains the most underserved and undereducated part of our population.

Paradoxically, Hispanic Americans are the only identifiable racial/ethnic community that is underrepresented in the federal labor force at approximately seven percent, compared to an estimated 16 percent of the nation’s general population. The Executive Order should provide the basis to hold all Cabinet members accountable for the expeditious bridging of this persistent gap. Hispanics in professional and management positions are essential for federal agencies to serve effectively the national needs, including the allocation of resources for K-12 and higher education. The federal workforce must reflect the changing face of the nation.

As the country’s school- and college-age population grows increasingly Hispanic, it is also urgent to close funding gaps. For instance, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) receive a meager 52 cents for every federal dollar going to all colleges and universities annually per student. The Executive Order should compel federal agencies that provide funds for higher education to erase this wide and pernicious disparity without further delay.

President Obama should also appoint a Presidential Advisory Board on HSIs. Such boards have been in place for many years for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and for Tribal Colleges and Universities. To keep HSIs without a comparable board further erodes their standing with federal agencies and the White House, and sends the wrong message to the nation.

In short, we applaud President Obama for signing the said Executive Order but we urge his administration to take prompt action on the three preceding points for the good of the nation. As Hispanic America goes so goes all of America.